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EE&T News: April 26, 2010

EE&T News: April 26, 2010

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April 26, 2011 Issue:

• What's up with the E-Rex?
• A better way to recycle waste heat
• For fast charging, make the battery 3D
• Volt fire fans flames of EV doubters
• Don't let those A/C vibrations go to waste
• Energy shorts

What's up with the E-Rex?

If you are planning on attending our second annual tech day next month in Santa Clara, Calif., one of the things you'll hear about is the efforts of OptaMotive, a Silicon Valley startup that built the E.Rex to compete for the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE. Michael Worry of Nuvation Engineering will talk about his group's work on the E.Rex and the challenges in developing new-generation vehicles that get 100 MPGe. Check it out here. And send your energy efficiency news to us at [email protected]. -- Leland Teschler, Editor

FEATURED CONTENT

A better way to recycle waste heat

If you eyeballed a block diagram of the heat recovery system devised by Echogen Power Systems, Inc., you wouldn't notice anything special. It looks like a conventional setup that routes water through a heat exchanger in a waste stack, then uses the resulting steam to drive a turbine. What the diagram doesn't show is that the working fluid is CO2. This subtle difference makes it possible for the system to capture as much heat energy as ordinary systems twice or three times its size. READ MORE

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For fast charging, make the battery 3D

A research team from Colorado State University has devised a lithium-ion battery prototype with features oriented in three dimensions that they say recharges in about 12 minutes compared to the two hours that conventional Li-ion batteries need. The 3D prototype is about the size of a cell phone battery. It also can be discharged over twice as many times as a conventional lithium ion battery at high discharge rates, researchers say. READ MORE

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Volt fire fans flames of EV doubters

News reports of a garage fire in Connecticut have EV skeptics out in force. The fire was at the home of EV hobbyist Storm Connors, owner of a GM Volt and a 1987 Suzuki Samurai which he converted to run on electricity. According to newspaper reports, Connors and his wife awoke at about 4 AM to find their garage on fire. Inside the garage, both the Volt and the Suzuki were on charge. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation. READ MORE

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Don't let those A/C vibrations go to waste

Most energy harvesting (EH) schemes that try to get energy out of vibrations on a micro scale start with some kind of cantilever contraption that generates electrical energy when it bends. But researchers from the University of Notre Dame and Seoul National University took a different approach. They simply laminated a thin piezoelectric patch onto a vibrating structure to generate power up to 3.7 mW, enough for operating wireless sensor units. READ MORE

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Energy shorts

Chevy Volt wins kudos and fans
Warning! Watch out for this LED controller
Illumination-grade LED hits high efficacy
Lithium-ion cell gives super energy density
A London bridge is lighting up
Security manager featuring tamper detection suits smart meters
Programmable LED driver controls nine LED sinks

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